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Mammals are the highest developed form of life at the moment. Even humans are mammals. All mammals are warm-blooded creatures possessing an internal skeleton of bones and the whole thing is packed in skin. The skin is more or less covered in hairs. Except for a very small group of extremely primitive mammals they all give birth to more or less fully developed young. After birth most young are fed by their mothers by means of milk. This milk is produced by some glands referred to as mammas, hence the name of the group. Mammals have conquered the world: most live on the floor, but many are also capable of climbing up rocks and trees. Most are capable of swimming, but some, like whales and dolphins, fully returned to the water. Being so succesful it actually is amazing that only a very small group learned how to fly (bats). Even though some other species, such as flying squirrels, may glide through the air, they actually can not really fly by themselves.

Mammals vary from very small, such as shrews and mice, to extremely big, such as whales. Very common in many gardens are insectvores: rather small, primitive mammals that feed on insects, worms, woodlice and such. Shrews are probably in most gardens, but rarely noticed. The Hedgehog is a much better known visitor and much more popular too!

photograph Sciurus vulgaris
Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris

The acrobat in many gardens: the European Red Squirrel. more...

photograph Crocidura russula
White-toothed Shrew Crocidura russula

Like the Hedgehog the The White-toothed Shrew is nocturnal. But it doesn't make a lot of noise and is therefor not often seen. more...

photograph Erinaceus europaeus
Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus

The hedgehog regularly turns up in gardens and shows little fear for humans.more...

photograph Oryctolagus cuniculus
Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus

The rabbit is a funny creature indeed, but nobody wants it in the garden. more...

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